Eighteenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Carlos Armando Samour Jr.
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends by a vote of 10-0 that Chief Judge Carlos Armando Samour, Jr. BE RETAINED
Chief Judge Samour has resided in Colorado with his parents and his 11 siblings since 1979. Although Chief Judge Samour and his family faced great obstacles during his childhood, he excelled academically. He graduated with honors from the University of Colorado at Denver, and later earned his Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Chief Judge Samour has also excelled professionally. After law school, he completed a one-year judicial clerkship with Judge Robert McWilliams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Thereafter, he worked for five years with the Denver law firm, Holland and Hart. In 1996, he joined the Denver District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted cases until 2006. In January 2007, he was appointed as a district court judge, and on July 1, 2014, he was named Chief Judge. During the current term, Chief Judge Samour presided in perhaps the most complicated criminal case in Colorado history. The Aurora theater shooting trial included 24 counts of first-degree murder, 140 counts of attempted first degree murder, and one count of possession or control of explosive or incendiary devices. He was highly noted for his professionalism, efficiency, and trial management during the over two-year process of the case.
The Commission conducted extensive research in making this recommendation of retention, including the use of surveys, interviews of people who appear in his courtroom, observations, review of his caseload data, review of the judge’s self-evaluation and his written orders, and an interview. The vast majority of Chief Judge Samour’s survey scores are outstanding. Evaluators remarked that he is hard working, diligent, and even keeled. He was also noted for having a strong command of legal principles and being a fair and just arbiter. As an administrator, Chief Judge Samour has improved the efficiency of the district court civil, domestic relations, and criminal dockets.
The sample size of attorneys who completed surveys totaled only 6 people; therefore, the Commission finds that the results are too small to be given much weight. With that being said, 93% of all those who completed surveys recommended retention. This includes 67% of the 6 attorneys who completed the survey. Of the 22 non-attorneys who completed surveys, 100% recommended retention. Of the 9 jurors who completed the survey, 100% recommended retention. Of the 21 appellate judges who evaluated Chief Judge Samour, 90% gave him an “A” grade and 10% scored him a “B” grade, for a total rating of 3.9 on a scale of 1 to 4. An appellate judge noted his exemplary analytical skills, while another characterized his handling of the Aurora theater shooting trial with “such remarkable skill and grace” as “a singular achievement.” Chief Judge Samour’s breadth of experience, his judicial temperament, and his commitment to serve the Eighteenth Judicial District with honor and integrity are assets. Therefore, the Commission highly recommends his retention.